New Report Offers Research and Insights on Graduate Student Population

Last updated on: March 8, 2019

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Wiley University Services to present findings at the American Council on Education annual meeting

Hoboken, NJ (March 8, 2019) – Wiley University Services has released an extensive research report detailing the needs and concerns of potential graduate students as they research and apply to programs. The “Survey of Graduate Students: Their Motivations, Behaviors, and Expectations” provides higher education administrators with insights into this diverse group to support their marketing, recruiting, enrollment, and retention efforts.

The report classifies the group into three personas—the Advancer, the Launcher, and the Altruist—and provides details about each, including their needs, traits, criteria and considerations, and triggers to pursue an advanced degree. It also provides key themes to help guide messaging and support engagement with each persona.

Also provided are insights into the general population of potential graduate students: how they research programs, factors they consider, barriers to applying, modality preferences, and more. The report concludes with recommendations about personalizing communications and opportunities for greater engagement with prospective students throughout their journey.

To generate the report, Wiley University Services used data from three sources: a survey of individuals about their experiences throughout the student journey; Wiley’s own Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data; and information from an external list of potential students who were in the process of researching online programs, currently enrolled in an online program, or recently completed an online program.

Wiley representatives Cory Berntson, Executive Director for Student Recruitment, and Wes Miller, Director of Content, will discuss the report and lead a Q&A at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education (ACE) in Philadelphia, Penn., March 9-12, 2019. The session, “Know Thy Students: Personalizing Experiences for the 3 Types of Adult Learners,” takes place on March 11 from 2:45 to 3:15 pm.

“I’m excited to be able to pass along our findings about the needs of potential graduate students today,” said Berntson. “The three personas can help colleges and universities adapt their communications in a variety of operational areas to truly connect with these different types of students.”

Click here to download the report.

Additional Information

About Wiley:

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company’s website can be accessed at

About Wiley University Services

Wiley University Services, a division of Wiley, is a leading, global provider of technology-enabled education solutions to meet the evolving needs of institutions and learners. With the addition of Learning House, a Wiley Brand, we partner with more than 60 institutions across the US, Europe, and Australia, and support over 800 degree programs. Our best-in-class services and market insights are driven by our deep commitment and expertise—proven to elevate enrollment, retention, and completion rates. For more information visit

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